Ginny Di interviews WotC's Kyle Brink


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ValamirCleaver

Jäger aus Kurpfalz
I also remain convinced that the interviews are part of the process to protect their most important asset - the Movie. We are all celebrating our victory and in some ways I think the PR campaign looks more like a Hollywood crisis expert was brought in.
I wonder how hard Paramount leaned into Wizbro & told them to quit "screwing around" to keep them from potentially tanking the movie.
 



Why? Just look at what happened to Magic, as well as their sky-high projections on how they want to build the brand.

I look at the whole magic issue and I still can't see why everyone is mad at them...

They made a product that has no inherent value and sold it for 1k...

A lot of other companies and people sell stuff with even less value for more...

if people buy that, it is on them. And since exclusivity is the only value that thing has, it needs to be limited and expensive...

if they had wanted to be greedy, they had put out way cheaper trash that is bought by millions of people like all the other magic cards...
 

mamba

Hero
I'd say they were less flippant than you about it. They have serious targets to reach.
they do, that doesn’t change the fact that the OGL change does not help wrt to VTTs.

I do not believe that anyone considers WotC’s moves to have been well thought out and shrewdly strategic, I certainly do not, in fact quite the opposite
 

I look at the whole magic issue and I still can't see why everyone is mad at them...

They made a product that has no inherent value and sold it for 1k...

A lot of other companies and people sell stuff with even less value for more...

if people buy that, it is on them. And since exclusivity is the only value that thing has, it needs to be limited and expensive...

if they had wanted to be greedy, they had put out way cheaper trash that is bought by millions of people like all the other magic cards...

If you don't understand why the whole thing about Magic was greed, then I just can't help you there. Just because other companies sell less for more doesn't make it any less about greed, nor does the fact that people will buy those things at those prices not make it about greed.

At the end of the day, it was an attempt to maximize profits and ended up completely messing up the community. That's greed any way you cut it.

they do, that doesn’t change the fact that the OGL change does not help wrt to VTTs.

It helps them with VTTs because it helps drive people to their game by cutting down competitors. It certainly does more to destroy the market behind them than it stops Disney from making an RPG and joining the market.

I do not believe that anyone considers WotC’s moves to have been well thought out and shrewdly strategic, I certainly do not, in fact quite the opposite

I don't think my version is particularly shrewd or strategic, it's just blunt-force attempt to bully the market as hard as they can. It also has the benefit that I don't have to take WotC at their word while they are on their apology tour.
 

mamba

Hero
I don't think my version is particularly shrewd or strategic, it's just blunt-force attempt to bully the market as hard as they can. It also has the benefit that I don't have to take WotC at their word while they are on their apology tour.
True, it isn’t. My problem is that the ‘WotC is greedy and stupid’ theory did never sit well with me, that move just never made any business sense to me. Too risky with almost no upside, I said so from the start. My problem was that I initially saw no better explanation for the behavior.

The ‘WotC is paranoid’ theory makes more sense to me. It explains their decisions better to me.

It’s not about believing WotC, they have done little to deserve that trust, I am going by my own judgement / conclusions. That does not mean I trust them, it just means that their story makes more sense to me than the alternative that you are going with.

I have no way of knowing whether I am right or you are, and until we do have facts that solve this once and for all, I will have to go with my own analysis.
 

True, it isn’t. My problem is that the ‘WotC is greedy and stupid’ theory did never sit well with me, that move just never made any business sense to me. Too risky with almost no upside, I said so from the start. My problem was that I initially saw no better explanation for the behavior.

The ‘WotC is paranoid’ theory makes more sense to me. It explains their decisions better to me.

It’s not about believing WotC, they have done little to deserve that trust, I am going by my own judgement / conclusions. That does not mean I trust them, it just means that their story makes more sense to me than the alternative that you are going with.

I have no way of knowing whether I am right or you are, and until we do have facts that solve this once and for all, I will have to go with my own analysis.

I mean, the "WotC is greedy and stupid" is perhaps an oversimplification, but I find it better than the "WotC is paranoid" because that just seems less sensical given the facts. We know that they are trying to push the D&D brand to the stratosphere and we know that the shareholders expect a lot of them. The profit window they are trying to reach is absolutely towering compared to where they are.

To me, it makes more sense that these moves were an attempt to consolidate what they had through their position as a market leader, rather than to protect their share against an enemy that has yet to make any moves or any mention of, well, opposing them. To me, it makes sense that they are trying to maximize their marketspace because to reach the targets they set, they need to. They can't afford a cheaper option or people not moving to their new edition and platform. They need to make sure their VTT is the VTT people are using. Eliminating the others, salting the edition behind them, those make some level of logical sense given the past.

You can have your opinion, but I just don't really see it. It's only been mentioned by Brink and I just see no reason to trust any reason they are saying without real proof, and we very much lack that.
 

If you don't understand why the whole thing about Magic was greed, then I just can't help you there. Just because other companies sell less for more doesn't make it any less about greed, nor does the fact that people will buy those things at those prices not make it about greed.

At the end of the day, it was an attempt to maximize profits and ended up completely messing up the community. That's greed any way you cut it.

See, I don't need your help. I just look at it differently... if you buy it, it is on you, not the company...

... it was not a product anyone needs (it was a completely useless product). So if there is demand, they serve. They just misjudged what the customers wanted.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
As far as the 3D vtt goes Kyle says

“Creating for the 3D space can get complicated” home brew “will require more work” and “work in our part”

So yea, not for me, probably.
We will see, I took his comments more to mean that it’s much harder to have a 3D environment wherein it’s easy to create homebrew than is the case with 2d vtts, and I found Ginni’s commentary on that part of the interview to be fairly…bunk, frankly.
I really don’t know what she expected him to say about how Wizards will regain trust. Trust is built on a pattern of behavior. Once lost in the manner in which Wizards did, it’s going to take time to regain, and that can only be done by communicating intent and then following through. So, action, rather than words. Sure, releasing the 3.5 SRD in CC might generate some good will. An SRD for 1D&D might move the needle some. But it’s going to take years of these small actions and communication with the community.
Yeah, this was another spot where I rolled my eyes at her commentary.
...immediately followed by him saying hombrewing in 3d is complicated and time consuming and will require purchased assets. So it will supported in a "you can certainly try" sort of way. Which is fine, people can just not use the vtt, but the contrast was funny to me
I don’t recall him saying that users will have to purchase assets in order to make homebrew in the vtt.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I really don’t know what she expected him to say about how Wizards will regain trust. Trust is built on a pattern of behavior. Once lost in the manner in which Wizards did, it’s going to take time to regain, and that can only be done by communicating intent and then following through. So, action, rather than words. Sure, releasing the 3.5 SRD in CC might generate some good will. An SRD for 1D&D might move the needle some. But it’s going to take years of these small actions and communication with the community.
I don't think "trust" is that big an issue, frankly.

The relationship with 3PP comes down to contracts and opportunities. If D&D continues to own the vast majority of the TTRPG player base, then 3PP will work with WotC and make products for the player base because that's where the money is. The reality is that most 3PP can't make a living by relying on non-5e products.

Trust with the non-3PP "community" is impossible to quantify. My belief is that the recent OGL thing was a tempest in a teapot and most folks will continue to buy WotC products if they think they are a good deal. I don't think "trust" in a broad sense comes into most transactions, aside from trust in the quality of the product itself.

In other words, I don't worry about whether I trust McDonalds in some kind of broad moral sense before I buy my french fries. The only thing I normally think about is whether the fries are a good price and whether I can trust that they'll taste good.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't think "trust" is that big an issue, frankly.

The relationship with 3PP comes down to contracts and opportunities. If D&D continues to own the vast majority of the TTRPG player base, then 3PP will work with WotC and make products for the player base because that's where the money is. The reality is that most 3PP can't make a living by relying on non-5e products.

Trust with the non-3PP "community" is impossible to quantify. My belief is that the recent OGL thing was a tempest in a teapot and most folks will continue to buy WotC products if they think they are a good deal. I don't think "trust" in a broad sense comes into most transactions, aside from trust in the quality of the product itself.

In other words, I don't worry about whether I trust McDonalds in some kind of broad moral sense before I buy my french fries. The only thing I normally think about is whether the fries are a good price and whether I can trust that they'll taste good.
I think what you see with Kobold Press and Cubicle 7's projects is an effort to set up a framework to support the biggest part of the RPG market without relying on or trusting WotC. Which is smart, and Creative Commons makes that very doable, which is smart on WotC to remove the need for trust or interdependence.
 

mamba

Hero
I think what you see with Kobold Press and Cubicle 7's projects is an effort to set up a framework to support the biggest part of the RPG market without relying on or trusting WotC. Which is smart, and Creative Commons makes that very doable,
I agree with this part

which is smart on WotC to remove the need for trust or interdependence.
but not so much with this. Basically you are saying it was smart for WotC to allow others to remove them from the picture entirely. That does not strike me as smart, and WotC did not do it as a smart / tactical move, they did it out of desperation, after a series of major blunders.

Now how much difference that actually makes, i.e. how many people leave 5e for the 5e-compatible alternatives remains to be seen.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I agree with this part


but not so much with this. Basically you are saying it was smart for WotC to allow others to remove them from the picture entirely. That does not strike me as smart, and WotC did not do it as a smart / tactical move, they did it out of desperation, after a series of major blunders.

Now how much difference that actually makes, i.e. how many people leave 5e for the 5e-compatible alternatives remains to be seen.
As long as D&D remains backwards compatible, it's genius: it rewards providing support for the market leader (hence reinforcing market leadership), while keeping any 3rd party at arms length, preserving plausible deniability. If someone comes along and makes something truly objectionable under Creative Commons...WotC can distance that from the brand without having to explain the OGL to NPR, simply disavow and point out the rules are in Creative Commons.
 

mamba

Hero
As long as D&D remains backwards compatible, it's genius: it rewards providing support for the market leader (hence reinforcing market leadership), while keeping any 3rd party at arms length, preserving plausible deniability. If someone comes along and makes something truly objectionable under Creative Commons
I still see this as a weakening of WotC’s position. So far the 3pp market was theirs, now it conceivably is theirs and that of their competitors. On top of that they now have to worry about staying 5e compatible and not splitting the market whereas before that market would have (mostly) followed them wherever they went.

It also reduces their hold over the competing VTTs, whereas before not renewing the D&D license would have locked them out of the 5e market, now they can continue serving that market with KP’s and C7’s version of 5e.
Granted, that is still an issue for VTTs, but in that scenario every little bit of market share that does not break away helps.

And what does WotC get in return? Basically nothing, they can distance themselves from offensive material and now have to explain the CC instead of the OGL ;) Add to that that this is a scenario we all were rightfully saying does essentially not exist and their concerns were not justified, and this becomes even more of a self-own.

They alienated their most loyal fans, they jumpstarted two competing RPGs and they reduced their influence in one fell swoop.
If they keep having these kinds of wins, they might as well shut D&D down ;)

This was the biggest mistake since 4e, the one saving grace is that this time they cut their losses after a few weeks
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
I still see this as a weakening of WotC’s position. Now they have to worry about staying 5e compatible whereas before the market would have followed them wherever they went.

It also reduces their hold over the competing VTTs, whereas before not renewing the D&D license would have locked them out of the 5e market, now they can continue serving that market with KP’s and C7’s version of 5e.
Granted, that is still an issue for VTTs, but in that scenario every little bit of market share that does not break away helps.

And what does WotC get in return? Basically nothing, they can distance themselves from offensive material and now have to explain the CC instead of the OGL ;) Add to that that this is a scenario we all were rightfully saying does essentially not exist and their concerns were not justified, and this becomes even more of a self-own.

They alienated their most loyal fans, they jumpstarted two competing RPGs and they reduced their influence in one fell swoop.
If they keep having these kinds of wins, they might as well shut D&D down ;)
Well, sure, it's a damage control move...but it also accomplished what Brink is saying were their internal goals, better than 1.1 or 1.2 would have. Doubt that isna coincidence.

Having to stay backwards compatible has been something they have been committed to for 10 years now, so that's not a significant change, and the designers at least were preconvinced after 4E that the market wouldn't necessarily follow if WotC departed from the 5E framework. This just reinforces what they spent the past decade saying was rue plan for the foreseeable future, Evergreen D&D. Cubicle 7, Kobold Press and kthers making material for Evergreen D&D was always part of the plan, now.it just doesn't rely on something as flimsy as "trust" at all
 

mamba

Hero
Well, sure, it's a damage control move...but it also accomplished what Brink is saying were their internal goals, better than 1.1 or 1.2 would have. Doubt that isna coincidence.
what, the distancing themselves from offensive material bit? No, it does not accomplish it better.

Before (with 1.1 and 1.2) they could demand changes and shut the product down if their concerns were not addressed. Now they can explain how this product is not theirs but do nothing about it. No idea how that is an improvement.

Having to stay backwards compatible has been something they have been committed to for 10 years now, so that's not a significant change
agreed it isn’t in the near term, I expect 1DD to remain compatible with 5e, as announced.

I am a lot less sure long term, and whenever they want a more drastic design change, they potentially find themselves in the 3e to 4e situation again. That is this time there will already be 5e compatible alternatives, so if the players do not move to 6e, it becomes trivial for them to stay with 5e-compatible alternatives.

Cubicle 7, Kobold Press and kthers making material for Evergreen D&D was always part of the plan, now.it just doesn't rely on something as flimsy as "trust" at all
as long as 5e actually is evergreen, I agree. I just do not think that actually will be all that long. 1DD yes, the one another 5-7 years after that? Not so sure about that one
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
what, the distancing themselves from offensive material bit? No, it does not accomplish it better.

Before (with 1.1 and 1.2) they could demand changes and shut the product down if their concerns were not addressed. Now they can explain how this product is not theirs but do nothing about it. No idea how that is an improvement.
Yeah, but pracspeaking, being the 3PP morality police was absurd on the face of it: this accomplishes the goal of distancing the family friendly brand from being tarnished way more effectively, with a widely known and publicly understood format (Creative Commons).
agreed it isn’t in the near term, I expect 1DD to remain compatible with 5e, as announced.

I am a lot less sure long term, and whenever they want a more drastic design change, they potentially find themselves in the 3e to 4e situation again. That is this time there will already be 5e compatible alternatives, so if the players do not move to 6e, it becomes trivial for them to stay with 5e-compatible alternatives.
as long as 5e actually is evergreen, I agree. I just do not think that actually will be all that long. 1DD yes, the one another 5-7 years after that? Not so sure about that one
It's also a bit of a power move to ensure that Evergreen D&D remains an Evergreen strategy: many at WotC have believed and advocated for this for years, and now this makes it harder to ever break away from pursuing. Particularly as the game becomes less important than merchandising.
 

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